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France in the Age of Absolutism.  1559: King Henry II (Fr.) died 3 sons were incompetent Catherine de Medici  1562-1598: religious wars betw. Catholics.

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Presentation on theme: "France in the Age of Absolutism.  1559: King Henry II (Fr.) died 3 sons were incompetent Catherine de Medici  1562-1598: religious wars betw. Catholics."— Presentation transcript:

1 France in the Age of Absolutism

2  1559: King Henry II (Fr.) died 3 sons were incompetent Catherine de Medici  : religious wars betw. Catholics & Huguenots (Fr. Prots.)

3 I. Henry IV  1572: St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre Hug. nobles slaughtered at wedding in Paris betw. Catherine’s daughter & Henry of Navarre (Hug. Prince)  1589: Prince Henry inherited throne (r ) Converted to Catholicism  “Paris is well worth a mass!”

4  1598: issued the Edict of Nantes Freedom of worship & political rights to Hugs.  Other major problems: 1. restore power to central govt. 2. rebuild infrastructure 3. France’s financial difficulties?  Inefficient, corrupt, unjust  Tax farming  Nobles & clergy did not pay the taille  Duke of Sully = Finance Minister  Treasury showed surplus (funds for trade & industry)

5  Henry = restored Fr. monarchy to a strong position  1610: stabbed by fanatical monk

6 II. Cardinal Richelieu’s Program for France  Louis XIII succeeded Henry (8 yrs. Old) Marie de Medici (mother) became regent Poor health & concentration Cardinal Richelieu (chief minister—ran govt. from )

7  Goal: make king supreme in Fr., & Fr. supreme in Euro. 1. destroy power of nobles & independence of Hugs. 2. strengthen Fr. economically (trade & industry) 3. reduce power of Spanish & Austrian Hapsburgs

8 A. Huguenots  Protestantism served as an excuse for political conspiracies against the Catholic king  Hug. cities = fortified  1627: attacked fortified Hug. towns  1628: Hugs. asked for peace  Forbade walls around Prot. cities  Prots. could still worship freely & hold office

9 B. Nobles  Rich. ordered destruction of fortified castles (nobles)  Reduced nobles’ political power Appointed governors of provinces who favored a strong monarchy Strengthened regional administrators (intendants) –middle-class

10 III. The French Intellectual Movement  Fr. thinkers were shocked by wars Skepticism = the idea that nothing can ever be known for certain  Questioned the Church  First step to the truth = DOUBT OLD IDEAS  Michel de Montaigne Developed the “essay” New ideas replaced old ones  Humans could never have absolute knowledge of the truth

11  Rene’ Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy  Influenced modern thinkers (scientific method)

12 IV. The Sun King  Louis XIV (r ) He and the state were one L’etat, c’est moi (“I am the state!”)  Cardinal Mazarin (succeeded Richelieu) Very hated (raised taxes, strengthened govt.) : anti-Mazarin riots (The Fronde)  Led by nobles w/peasants  Nobles = revive their power  Louis was determined to become so strong that the nobility could never threaten him again

13  Frondeurs failed b/c… 1. leaders distrusted one another 2. Fr. govt. was oppressive 3. peasants grew tired of fighting  People accepted laws of the absolute king  1661: Mazarin died, Louis took control Wanted economic, political, & cultural greatness

14  Jean-Baptiste Colbert (finance expert) Policy of autarky (keep $ in Fr.) Expanded manufacturing (govt $ & tax benefits) Raised tariffs on imports Colonies (raw materials & market potential)

15  Religious disunity? 1685: revoked Edict of Nantes  >200,000 productive Prots. fled

16 A. Versailles  Louis’s palace outside Paris  New home of Fr. govt.  Proof of absolute power Cost $2.5 billion 36,000 laborers, 6,000 horses 5,000 acres (gardens, lawns, woods) 1,400 fountains Hall of Mirrors (most beautiful room?)

17

18 B. Louis Controls the Nobility  Nobles had to live at Versailles Acted as Louis’s personal servants  Increased royal authority: 1. nobility was dependent on Louis 2. gave power to intendants  Louis…too extravagant?  Louis & Versailles = ideal of Euro. royalty  Personal emblem = The Sun

19 C. Patronage of the Arts  Versailles = center of the arts Opera & ballet  Purpose of art: Middle Ages = glorify god Renaissance = glorify human potential Now = glorify the king!

20 V. The Wars of Louis XIV  Fr. was most powerful in Euro = pop. was 20 mill. w/400,000 in army  Louis fought 4 wars ( )  1667—invaded Spanish Netherlands  1672—invaded Dutch Netherlands Treaty of Nijmegen (several towns & Franche- Courte’)  Other Euro. countries united Balance of power

21  Wars strained Fr. resources Louis raised taxes Additional suffering = poor harvests

22 A. War of Spanish Succession  Louis’s last war  Who should succeed the Spanish throne? Throne promised to Philip of Anjou (Louis’s grandson)  Greatest Euro. powers ruled by Fr. Bourbons?  1701: other Euros. united  1714: Treaty of Utrecht 1. King Philip V = Spain 2. Fr. & Spanish crowns NEVER unite!  Winner = G.B.

23  G.B. = Gibraltar, N. Amer. Territories  Austrian Hapsburgs = Spanish Netherlands & parts of Italy

24 B. Legacy of Louis XIV  Wars cost a lot of $, exhausted the people Deep debt (wars & Palace) Resentment of taxes  Fr. was largest, richest, & most influential Art & literature Military leader  Nobles eventually win back powers  Louis XV = successor  Revolution was brewing


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